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World War II, air war/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about World War II, air war.
Please sort and annotate in a user-friendly manner. For formatting, consider using automated reference wikification.
  • Boog, Horst, ed. The Conduct of the Air War in the Second World War: An International Comparison (1992)
  • Murray, Williamson. Luftwaffe: Strategy for Defeat, 1933-1945 (1985), standard history online edition
  • Overy, Richard J. The Air War, 1939-1945 (1981), sophisticated standard interpretation, covering all major countries
  • Werrell, Kenneth P. "The Strategic Bombing of Germany in World War II: Costs and Accomplishments," Journal of American History 73 (1986) 702-713; good place to start. in JSTOR

Contents

American

see also Claire Chennault/Bibliography

  • Craven, Wesley Frank and J. L. Cate. The Army Air Forces in World War II (1949), vol 1-5 standard, very thorough history of strategy and operations in Europe and Pacific online edition
  • Futtrel, Robert Frank. Ideas, Concepts, Doctrines: Basic Thinking in the United States Air Force, 1907-1960 (1989) influential overview online edition
  • Golberg, Alfred ed. A History of the United States Air Force, 1907-1957 (1957) online edition
  • Official Guide to the Army Air Forces (1944), reprinted as AAF: A Directory, Almanac and Chronicle of Achievement (1988)

Airmen

  • Byrd, Martha. Chennault: Giving Wings to the Tiger (1987) 451 pp., the standard biography
  • Ford, Daniel. Flying Tigers: Claire Chennault and the American Volunteer Group (1991).
  • Caine, Philip D. American Pilots in the RAF: The WWII Eagle Squadrons (1993)
  • Craven, Wesley Frank and J. L. Cate. The Army Air Forces in World War II (1949), vol. 6: Men and Planes; vol 7. Services Around the World (including medical, engineering, WAC) online edition
  • Davis, Benjamin O. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography.’’ (1991), prominent black flier
  • Dunn, William R. Fighter Pilot: The First American Ace of World War II (1982)
  • Francis, Charles E., and Adolph Caso. The Tuskegee Airmen: The Men Who Changed a Nation (1997) online excerpt; African American airmen who fought in Europe
  • Freeman, Roger. The American Airman in Europe (1992)
  • Freeman, Roger. The British Airman (1989)
  • Hawkins, Ian ed. B-17s Over Berlin: Personal Stories from the 95th Bomb Group (H) (1990)
  • Link, Mae Mills and Hubert A. Coleman. Medical Support of the Army Air Forces in World War II (GPO, 1955)
  • McGovern, James R. Black Eagle: General Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr. (1985), leading black pilot.
  • Miller, Donald L. Masters of the Air: America's Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany (2006) excerpt
  • Morrison, Wilbur H. Point of No Return: The Story of the 20th Air Force (1979)
  • Nanney, James S. Army Air Forces Medical Services in World War II (1998) online edition
  • Newby, Leroy W. Target Ploesti: View from a Bombsight (1983)
  • Nichol, John. Tail-End Charlies: The Last Battles of the Bomber War, 1944--45 (2006) excerpt
  • Osur, Alan M. Blacks in the Army Air Forces during World War II : The Problem of Race Relations (1986) online edition

Air Commanders: American

  • Byrd, Martha.Chennault: Giving Wings to the Tiger (1987) 451 pp.
  • Davis, Richard G. Carl A. Spaatz and the Air War in Europe (1993)
  • Frisbee, John L. ed. Makers of the United States Air Force’’ (USAF, 1987), short biographies
  • Kenney, George C. General Kenney Reports: A Personal History of the Pacific War (1949), primary source
  • Leary, William ed. We Shall Return! MacArthur's Commanders and the Defeat of Japan, 1942-1945 (1988)
  • LeMay, Curtis. Mission with LeMay (1965), autobiography, primary source
  • Meilinger, Phillip S. Hoyt S. Vandenberg: The Life of a General (1989)
  • Mets, David R. Master of Airpower: General Carl A. Spaatz (1988) online edition

HAP Arnold and Stimson

  • Arnold, Henry H. Global Mission (1949), autobiography.
  • Bonnett, John. "Jekyll and Hyde: Henry L. Stimson, Mentalite, and the Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb on Japan." War in History 1997 4(2): 174-212. Issn: 0968-3445 Fulltext: Ebsco
  • Bundy, McGeorge. Danger and Survival: Choices about the Bomb in the First Fifty Years (1988)
  • Coffey, Thomas. Hap: General of the Air Force Henry Arnold’’ (1982)
  • Davis, Richard G. HAP: Henry H. Arnold, Military Aviator (1997) 38 pp online edition
  • Huston, John W. "The Wartime Leadership of 'Hap' Arnold." In Alfred F. Hurley and Robert C. Erhart, eds. Air Power and Air Warfare (1979) 168-85.
  • Huston, John W., American Airpower Comes of Age: Gen Henry H. Arnold's World War II Diaries, (2002), primary source; vol. 1 online vol. 2 online
  • Larrabee, Eric. Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War (1987), chapters on Arnold and LeMay.
  • Malloy, Sean L. Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson and the Decision to Use the Bomb Against Japan (2008)
  • Morison, Elting E. Turmoil and Tradition: A Study of the Life and Times of Henry L. Stimson (1960)
  • Newman, Robert P. "Hiroshima and the Trashing of Henry Stimson" The New England Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 5-32 in JSTOR

Air Commanders: Other

  • Messenger, Charles, "Bomber" Harris and the Strategic Bombing Offensive, 1939-1945 (1984), defends Harris
  • Irving, David. The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe: The Life of Erhard Milch (1973) online edition
  • Overy, Richard. Goering (1984)

Atomic Bomb & Surrender of Japan

see also Nuclear weapon/Fission bomb

  • Alperowitz, Gar. Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power. (1995)
  • Allen, Thomas B. and Norman Polmar. Code-Name Downfall: The Secret Plan to Invade Japan-And Why Truman Dropped the Bomb (1995)
  • Arens, Mark P. "Amphibious Corps Planning for Operation Olympic and the Role of Intelligence in Support of Planning." (1996), Marine Corps plans for landing on Kyushu online edition
  • Bernstein, Barton. "Eclipsed by Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Early Thinking About Tactical Nuclear Weapons," International Security (Spring 1991) 149-173 in JSTOR
  • Bernstein, Barton F. "The Atomic Bombings Reconsidered." Foreign Affairs, 74 (Jan-Feb 1995) 135-52.
  • Bundy, McGeorge. Danger and Survival: Choices about the Bomb in the First Fifty Years (1988)
  • Feis, Herbert. Japan Subdued: The Atomic Bomb and the End of the War in the Pacific (1961)
  • Gordin, Michael D. Five Days in August: How World War II Became a Nuclear War (2007) 209 pages excerpt and text search
  • Holley, I. B. ed. Hiroshima After Forty Years (1992)
  • Jones, Vincent C. Manhattan: The Army and the Bomb (GPO, 1985), official construction history
  • Libby, Justin. "The Search for a Negotiated Peace: Japanese Diplomats Attempt to Surrender Japan Prior to the Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki." World Affairs, 156 (Summer 1993): 35-45.
  • Malloy, Sean L. Atomic Tragedy: Henry L. Stimson and the Decision to Use the Bomb Against Japan (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Miles, Rufus E. Jr. "Hiroshima: The Strange Myth of a Half Million American Lives Saved" International Security 10 (Fall 1985): 121-40.
  • Pape, Robert A. "Why Japan Surrendered." International Security 18 (Fall 1993): 154-201 in JSTOR
  • Rhodes, Richard. The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986), good overview excerpt and text search
  • Rotter, Andrew J. Hiroshima: The World's Bomb (2008) excerpt and text search
  • Skates, John. The Invasion of Japan (1994), excellent military history of the greatest non-battle of all time
  • VanderMuelen, Jacob. "Planning for V-J Day by the U.S. Army Air Forces and the Atomic Bomb Controversy." Journal of Strategic Studies 16 (June 1993), 227-39. AAF did not expect quick surrender; bomb was military use
  • Walker, J. Samuel. "The Decision to Drop the Bomb: A Historiographical Update," Diplomatic History 14 (1990) 97-114. Especially useful.
  • Walker, J. Samuel. Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs Against Japan (2004) online excerpt

Britain

  • Fisher, David E, A Summer Bright and Terrible: Winston Churchill, Lord Dowding, Radar, and the Impossible Triumph of the Battle of Britain (2005) excerpt online
  • Hough, Richard and Denis Richards. The Battle of Britain (1989) 480 pp
  • Messenger, Charles, "Bomber" Harris and the Strategic Bombing Offensive, 1939-1945 (1984), defends Harris
  • Overy, Richard. The Battle of Britain: The Myth and the Reality (2001) 192 pages excerpt and text search
  • Richards, Dennis, et al. Royal Air Force, 1939-1945: The Fight at Odds - Vol. 1 (HMSO 1953), official history vol 1 online edition vol 2 online edition
  • Terraine, John. A Time for Courage: The Royal Air Force in the European War, 1939-1945 (1985)
  • Verrier, Anthony. The Bomber Offensive (1969), British
  • Webster, Charles and Noble Frankland, The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, 1939-1945 (HMSO, 1961), 4 vol. Important official British history
  • Wood, Derek, and Derek D. Dempster. The Narrow Margin: The Battle of Britain and the Rise of Air Power 1930-40 (1975) online edition

Russia

  • Gordon, Yefim. Soviet Air Power in World War 2 (2008)
  • Wagner, Ray, ed. Soviet Air Force in World War ll: The Official History (1973)
  • Whiting, Kenneth R. "Soviet Air Power in World War II," in Alfred F. Hurley and Robert C. Erhart, eds. Air Power and Air Warfare (1979) 98-127

Germany

  • British Air Ministry. Rise and Fall of the German Air Force (1948, reprint 1969), excellent official history; reprint has introduction by H. A. Probert, who was not the author
  • Fritzsche, Peter. "Machine Dreams: Airmindedness and the Reinvention of Germany." American Historical Review, 98 (June 1993): 685-710. Air warfare was seen as a growing threat to Germany, and it became a means of national mobilization and redemption. Nazi Germany believed that air warfare would allow the country to rebuild itself in a racial compact. During World War II, air warfare became a means for rejuvenating authority domestically and increasing imperial influence abroad.
  • Galland, Adolf. The First and the Last: German Fighter Forces in World War II (1955)
  • Irving, David. The Rise and Fall of the Luftwaffe: The Life of Erhard Milch (1973) online edition
  • Murray, Williamson. Luftwaffe: Strategy for Defeat, 1933-1945 (1985), standard history online edition
  • Overy, Richard. Goering (1984)
  • Wilt, Alan F. War from the Top: German and British Military Decision Making During World War II (1990)
  • Overy R. J. "The German Pre-War Aircraft Production Plans: November 1936-April 1939," The English Historical Review Vol. 90, No. 357 (Oct., 1975), pp. 778-797 in JSTOR

Japan

  • Coox, Alvin D. "The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Air Forces," in Alfred F. Hurley and Robert C. Erhart, eds. Air Power and Air Warfare (1979) 84-97.
  • Inoguchi, Rikihei and Tadashi Nakajima, The Divine Wind: Japan's Kamikaze Force in World War II (1958)

Ethics & Civilians

  • Crane, Conrad C. Bombs, Cities and Civilians: American Airpower Strategy in World War II (1993)
  • Crane, Conrad C. "Evolution of U.S. Strategic Bombing of Urban Areas," Historian 50 (Nov 1987) 14-39, defends AAF
  • Davis, Richard G. "Operation 'Thunderclap': The US Army Air Forces and the Bombing of Berlin." Journal of Strategic Studies (March 1991) 14:90-111.
  • Garrett, Stephen A., Ethics and Airpower in World War II: The British Bombing of German Cities (1993)
  • Havens, Thomas R. H. Valley of Darkness: The Japanese People and World War Two (1978)
  • Hopkins, George F. "Bombing and the American Conscience During World War II," The Historian 28 (May 1966): 451-73
  • Lammers, Stephen E. "William Temple and the bombing of Germany: an Exploration in the Just War Tradition." The Journal of Religious Ethics, 19 (Spring 1991): 71-93. Explains how the Archbishop of Canterbury justified strategic bombing.
  • Markusen, Eric, and David Kopf. The Holocaust and Strategic Bombing: Genocide and Total War in the Twentieth Century (1995)
  • Schaffer, Ronald. "American Military Ethics in World War II: The Bombing of German Civilians," Journal of American History 67 (1980) 318-34 in JSTOR
  • Schaffer, Ronald. Wings of Judgment: American Bombing in World War II (1985)
  • Spaight, J. M. Air Power and War Rights (1947), legal
  • Speer, Alfred. Inside the Third Reich (1970), memoir of top Nazi economic planner
  • Walzer, Michael. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations (1977), philosophical approach

Technology: Jets, Rockets, Radar, Proximity Fuze

  • Baxter, James Phinney. Scientists Against Time (1946)
  • Brown, Louis. A Radar History of World War II: Technical and Military Imperatives (1999) online excerpt
  • Constant II, Edward W. The Origins of the Turbojet Revolution (1980)
  • Longmate, Norman. Hitler's Rockets: The Story of the V-2s (1985).
  • Moye, William T. "Developing the Proximity Fuze, and Its Legacy (2003) online version
  • Neufeld, Michael J. "Hitler, the V-2, and the Battle for Priority, 1939-1943." The Journal of Military History, 57 (July 1993): 5-38. in JSTOR
  • Neufeld, Michael J. The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemunde and the Coming of the Mallistic Missile Era (1995)
  • Swords, Seán S. Technical History of the Beginnings of Radar (1986)

Tactical Planes, Weapons, Tactics & Combat

  • Batchelor, John and Bryan Cooper. Fighter: A History of Fighter Aircraft (1973)
  • Cooling, Benjamin Franklin ed. Close Air Support (1990) GPO
  • Craven, Wesley Frank and J. L. Cate. The Army Air Forces in World War II (1949), vol. 6: Men and Planes online edition
  • Francillon, R. J. Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War (1970)
  • Gruen, Adam L. Preemptive Defense: Allied Air Power Versus Hitler’s V-Weapons, 1943–1945 (1999) online edition
  • Hallion, Richard P. D Day 1944: Air Power Over the Normandy Beaches and Beyond (1998) online edition
  • Hallion, Richard P. Strike From the Sky: The History of Battlefield Air Attack, 1911-1945 (1989)
  • Hogg, I.V. Anti-Aircraft: A History of Air Defence (1978)
  • Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II (1989)
  • Lundstrom, John B. The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat From Pearl Harbor to Midway (1984)
  • McFarland, Stephen L. and Wesley Phillips Newton. To Command the Sky: The Battle for Air Superiority over Germany, 1942-1944 (1991)
  • Mikesh, Robert C. Broken Wings of the Samurai: the Destruction of the Japanese Airforce (1993)
  • Mixon, Franklin G. "Estimating Learning Curves in Economics: Evidence from Aerial Combat over the Third Reich." KYKLOS 46 (Fall 1993) 411-19. Germans learned faster (if they survived)
  • Mortensen. Daniel R. ed. Airpower and Ground Armies: Essays on the Evolution of Anglo-American Air Doctrine, 1940-1943, (1998) online edition
  • Okumiya, Masatake and Jiro Horikoshi, with Martin Caidin, Zero! (1956)
  • Schlaifer, Robert. Development of Aircraft Engines (1950)
  • Sherrod, Robert. History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II (1952)
  • Spire, David N. Air Power for Patton's Army: The 19th Tactical Air Command in the Second World War (2002) online edition
  • Warnock, A. Timothy. Air Power versus U-boats: Confronting Hitler's Submarine Menace in the European Theater (1999) online edition
  • Werrell, Kenneth P. Archie, Flak, AAA, and SAM: A Short Operational History of Ground-Based Air Defense (GPO 1988) online edition

Strategic Bombing: Doctrine

  • Boog, Horst. ed. The Conduct of the Air War in the Second World War (1992)
  • Davis, Richard G. "Bombing Strategy Shifts, 1944-45," Air Power History 39 (1989) 33-45
  • Griffith, Charles. The quest Haywood Hansell and American strategic bombing in World War II (1999) online edition
  • Hansell, Jr., Haywood S. Air Plan That Defeated Hitler (1980) online version
  • Kennett, Lee B. A History of Strategic Bombing (1982)
  • Koch, H. W. "The Strategic Air Offensive against Germany: the Early Phase, May-September 1940." The Historical Journal, 34 (March 1991) pp 117-41. online at JSTOR
  • Levine, Alan J. The Strategic Bombing of Germany, 1940-1945 (1992) online edition
  • MacIsaac, David. Strategic Bombing in World War Two (1976)
  • McFarland, Stephen L. "The Evolution of the American Strategic Fighter in Europe, 1942-44," Journal of Strategic Studies 10 (1987) 189-208
  • Messenger, Charles, "Bomber" Harris and the Strategic Bombing Offensive, 1939-1945 (1984), defends Harris
  • Overy. Richard. "The Means to Victory: Bombs and Bombing" in Overy, Why the Allies Won (1995), pp 101-33
  • Sherry, Michael. The Rise of American Air Power: The Creation of Armageddon (1987), important study 1930s-1960s
  • Smith, Malcolm. "The Allied Air Offensive," Journal of Strategic Studies 13 (Mar 1990) 67-83
  • Verrier, Anthony. The Bomber Offensive (1968), British
  • Webster, Charles and Noble Frankland, The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, 1939-1945 (HMSO, 1961), 4 vol. Important official British history
  • Werrell, Kenneth P. "The Strategic Bombing of Germany in World War II: Costs and Accomplishments," Journal of American History 73 (1986) 702-713; good place to start. in JSTOR

Strategic Bombing: Planes and Targets

  • Beck, Earl R. Under the Bombs: The German Home Front, 1942-1945 (1986)
  • Berger, Carl. B-29: The Superfortress (1970)
  • Bond, Horatio. ed. Fire and the Air War (1974)
  • Charman, T. C. The German Home Front, 1939-45 (1989)
  • Craven, Wesley Frank and J. L. Cate. The Army Air Forces in World War II (1949), vol. 6: Men and Planes online edition
  • Cross, Robin. The Bombers: The Illustrated Story of Offensive Strategy and Tactics in the Twentieth Century (1987)
  • Daniels, Gordon ed. A Guide to the Reports of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey (1981)
  • Davis, Richard G. Bombing the European Axis Powers: A Historical Digest of the Combined Bomber Offensive, 1939-1945 (2006) online edition
  • Edoin, Hoito. The Night Tokyo Burned: The Incendiary Campaign against Japan (1988), Japanese viewpoint
  • Hastings, Max. Bomber Command (1979)
  • Haulman, Daniel L. Hitting Home: The Air Offensive Against Japan, (1998) online edition
  • Hecks, Karl. Bombing 1939-45: The Air Offensive Against Land Targets in World War Two (1990)
  • Jablonsky, Edward. Flying Fortress (1965)
  • Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II (1989), reprint of 1945 edition
  • Johnsen, Frederick A. B-17 Flying Fortress: The Symbol of Second World War Air Power (2000) excerpt
  • MacIsaac, David, ed. The United States Strategic Bombing Survey (10 v, 1976) reprints of some reports
  • Madej, Victor. ed. German war economy: the motorization myth (1984) (based on v. 64a, 77, and 113 of the U.S. Strategic Bombing reports on oil and chemical industry.)
  • Madej, Victor. ed. The War machine: German weapons and manpower, 1939-1945 (1984)
  • Middlebrook, Martin. The Schweinfurt-Regensburg Mission: American Raids on 17 August 1943 (1983)
  • Mierzejewski, Alfred C. The Collapse of the German War Economy, 1944-1945: Allied Air Power and the German National Railway (1988)
  • Pape, Robert A. Punishment and Denial: The Coercive Use of Air Power (1995)
  • Ralph, William W. "Improvised Destruction: Arnold, LeMay, and the Firebombing of Japan," War in History, Vol. 13, No. 4, 495-522 (2006) online at Sage
  • Read, Anthony, and David Fisher. The Fall of Berlin (1993)
  • Searle, Thomas R. "'It Made a Lot of Sense to Kill Skilled Workers': The Firebombing of Tokyo in March 1945" The Journal of Military History, Vol. 66, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 103-133 in JSTOR
  • United States Strategic Bombing Survey. The Campaigns of the Pacific War. (1946) Online edition
  • United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Summary Report: (European War) (1945) online edition key primary source
  • United States Strategic Bombing Survey. Summary Report: (Pacific War) (1946) online edition key primary source
  • Westermann, Edward B. Flak: German Anti-Aircraft Defenses, 1914-1945 (2005)

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